Kodavas to observe November 1 as 'black day' in Delhi

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New Delhi, Oct 19 (UNI) The Kodava people, dressed in their traditional attires, will be observing a ''black day'' on November one, the day of merger of Kodava Kingdom with Mysore State and will demand formation of Kodava Autonomous Council to preserve and protect the Kodava language, culture and tradition.

The peaceful demonstration, organised by Codava National Council (CNC) under sixth Schedule of the Constitution like Darjeeling Hill Council, will be backed by traditionally attired Kodava youths.

''The Darjeeling Hill Council Bill is before the Parliamentary Standing Committee and our demand should also be considered by this panel,'' Codava National Council President N U Nachappa Codava said.

If the area is granted such a right, the autonomous council will be able to pass law pertaining to the region with the consent of the Governor, he added.

The CNC president said the setting up of the Council would provide recognition to the tradition of 45 Kodava Naads (cluster of villages) and their rights for self determination. Also, there should be effective arrangements to safeguard the interests of minority, the Kodava ethnolinguistic nationality, and stop them from being discriminated.

''The Constitution has granted special guarantee for Jammu and Kashmir and North-Eastern states under Article 370 and 371 of the Constitution. The people also wanted protection of the Kodava lands on the lines of the protection accorded to Nagas and Mizos and people of Sikkim,'' Mr Nachappa Codava said.

Mr Nachappa had also urged the Human Resources Development Ministry to establish a Central University for 'Kodavalogy', a study of Kodava language, culture, and heritage.

Kodava language is an ancient spoken language and should be included in eighth schedule of the Constitution and be treated as an official language on par with the Konkani.

The activists of the Codava National Council will reach New Delhi on October 31 and hold the dharna at Jantar Mantar on Parliament Street and submit a memorandum to the President, Prime Minister and Home Minister, he added.

UNI MCN AE CS1250

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